ELI Faculty/Staff


Ann Morris, Director


M.A. Linguistics, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Ann has been working with international students and teaching English for forty years.  She grew up in Mississippi and has a BA from The University of Southern Mississippi and an MA from The University of South Florida.  For two years, she and her husband lived and worked in Bangkok, Thailand.  Ann has been ELI Director at USM since 2004.  Her favorite leisure-time activity is reading, mostly biography and historical fiction.  


Jason Roberts, Assistant Director


M.A.T.L. TESOL, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Originally from Indianola, MS, Jason started his career in education by teaching geography and social studies at Velma Jackson Magnet High School in Camden, MS. Jason then moved to South Korea, where he taught English for several years before becoming the head foreign teacher at two different institutions in Suwon, South Korea. He started working at the ELI part-time in 2011 while working on his Master’s. Jason enjoys playing tennis, photography, traveling, and studying Korean and Spanish in his spare time. 


Estefanía Núñez-Cantero, Instructor


M.A.T.L. in French, Spanish, and TESOL, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS


Estefanía, a native of southern Spain, came to Hattiesburg in 2014 when she was awarded an assistantship at The University of Southern Mississippi.  At USM, she studied and taught French, Spanish, and TESOL.

She studied at  Universidad de Cádiz (UCA) and Universidad de Alcalá (UAH) in Spain, and because she loves to travel and know different cultures, she studied at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne in France under the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS). She also enjoys painting, swimming, photography, and foreign cinema in her free time.


Kacey Cole, Instructor


M.A.T.L. TESOL, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Kacey is a native of the Pine Belt and grew up in Oak Grove. She attended the University of Mississippi and received a B.A. from the Croft Institute of International Studies with an emphasis on the Social and Cultural Identity of Latin America. In pursuit of her MATL - TESOL, Kacey returned to her hometown and the University of Southern Mississippi where she had an Assistantship with the Department of Housing and Residence Life. After completing her degree at Southern Miss, Kacey spent nine years working with college students outside the classroom in a Higher Education setting. While she also has experience working with students in Secondary and Elementary education, Kacey is excited to return to the university community and serve the students of the ELI.

Kacey enjoys volunteering, traveling, watching college football, cooking for family and friends, and spending time with her rescue pup, Rhett


Christopher Gannon, Instructor


M.A. TESL, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

A native of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Christopher Gannon,  has studied languages for 20 years. He attended The University of Southern Mississippi and The University of Mississippi,  where he earned his M.A. in 2009. He has formally studied eleven languages both modern and classical.  In his spare time, he likes to maintain his multilingual status through foreign cinema, music, media, literature, and especially conversation with native speakers.


Barbara Lee Keller, Instructor


Master’s, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Arizona

 Barbara has taught at the English Language Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) from 1990-2001 and 2006-present.  Barbara started teaching English as a Second Language to Russian refugees in Columbus, Ohio, while also helping to find them employment.  In addition, she has also taught English 102 (Composition II) and English 301 (English Grammar) in the English Department at USM. While living in Tucson, Arizona, Barbara traveled to cities along the Mexico – U.S. border gathering data and assessing land use for the Drachman Institute of the University of Arizona. Barbara has lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America, as well as many other regions of the world, including Russia and Ukraine. In graduate school, her Master’s thesis was on Developing an English as a Second Language Program for International Businessmen. Her undergraduate degree was in Soviet Studies from The Ohio State University.


 John Miller, Instructor


M.A. TESOL, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

John began his teaching career at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in 1978, teaching English 100, 101, and 102.  In 1984, he began teaching K-3 ESL for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians at Standing Pine Day School.  For the next three years, he worked as an ESL specialist for the Choctaws, developing curricula, teaching grammar and composition to grades 9-12 in summer school, administering the Title VII project, teaching English 103 through community colleges at night, training teachers, and implementing CAI. 

 In 1986, he became an instructor at ELI at USM, where he has taught across the curriculum except for a hiatus from 2005-2011.  While at ELI, he has been a consultant with the Multifunctional Resource Center in Miami, Florida, reviewed bilingual grants in Washington, D.C., and trained teachers of Bogue Homa Choctaw students in Sandersville, Mississippi.

A native Mississippian, he lives on Terrible Swamp with a bulldog and black cat. 


Emily Nelson, Instructor



M.A., TESOL, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Emily has been teaching English to internationals for more than 30 years.  She lived and worked in Turkey, Venezuela, Mexico, and Washington, DC, before putting down roots in Hattiesburg.  She loves animals and enjoys getting to know students from many countries.


 Melissa Ravencraft, Administrative Assistant


M.A.T.L. TESOL, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Melissa has been working in the Center for International Education since 1995. She was a study abroad coordinator for 21 years in the Office of Study Abroad (OSA). She currently works as the Administrative Assistant for the OSA and English Language Institute (ELI) in the Center for International Education.

She enjoys knitting, reading, gardening, journaling, and binge-watching "M.A.S.H 4077."